Medium, Message, and Effect

by David Ottlinger There is a moment in Marvel’s recent Doctor Strange that stood out to me in the theater and has stayed with me ever since. The titular doctor has by now suffered an accident which has left his hands seriously debilitated, abruptly ending his career as a hot-shot surgeon. Now he is desperately chasing leads, trying to find […]

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Self-Made

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ A to B:  “You’re an asshole.” B to A:  “No I’m not.” A to B:  “Well, it’s not up to you whether you’re an asshole or not.  It’s up to everyone else.” —Louis CK (1) The “self-made man” traditionally was someone who had made his own fortune, rather than inheriting it  Today, many would point […]

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Against Historical Cherry-Picking

By Daniel Tippens Early in his presidency, Donald Trump passed his first executive order pertaining to immigration, preventing travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United State for 90 days. At the same time, Trump has been laying on some heavy rhetoric about deporting illegal aliens from the United States. Many were quick to […]

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In Beethoven’s Shadow

by Mark English “Are you mad?” “But you asked me to play.” “I asked you to play. If you can’t think of anything better, play a chromatic scale or a five-finger exercise, but spare me your suburban shopgirl trash.” This exchange comes from a very popular movie of the 1940s, The Seventh Veil. (1) A romantic melodrama, it explores the […]

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Notes on Rhetoric

by E. John Winner Words are instructions or directions for behavior, and they may be responded to either appropriately or inappropriately, but the appropriateness or inappropriateness depends upon the judgment of someone. — Morse Peckham (1) A dialogue between  a rhetorician and a logician R–Let’s say we have one audience that sets stock in logic-based discourse; another prefers appeal to […]

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